Goodwill Detroit’s Green Works Operation Expand Recycling Program Just in Time for Earth Day

Green Works to partner with DTE Energy and Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics to offer Appliance Recycling Program to Southeast Michigan Residents


With Earth Day around the corner (April 22), Goodwill’s Green Works has kicked off an appliance recycling program, in partnership with DTE Energy and Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics (SEEL), that saves “green” in more ways than one – by combating the environmental impact of appliances in landfills and by putting money back in consumers’ pockets. Green Works, a subsidiary of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, has been providing asset reuse and recycling solutions since 2010.

By calling (866)796-0512 or going to, DTE Energy customers can participate in the appliance recycling program, which offers free pick-ups of old, working refrigerators, freezers, room air conditions and dehumidifiers. While SEEL will handle the pick-up and delivery of the appliances, Green Works will handle the safe recycling or disposal of materials used in the appliances.

“We are thrilled to expand our services through SEEL to recycle a forecasted 150-200 appliances a day,” said Jay Wilber, president of Green Works. “The appliance recycling program is part of Green Works’ triple bottom line approach of reducing the ecological impact of waste, growing human capital skills and generating financial results.”

Reducing the ecological impact of industry waste

Green Works is recycling the collected appliances, safely dismantling and recycling the appliances in an environmentally responsible manner and keeping them out of landfills. Recyclable materials from the units, such as steel, plastic and glass will be processed and sold to steel mills and other organizations that can reuse the raw materials.

The organization will also safely remove and dispose of non-recyclable materials from the units – such as Freon, a refrigerant gas that was banned from appliances in the 1980s as it causes depletion of the ozone layer in the atmosphere.

“The average appliance has about 5-6 oz. of Freon, at 150+ appliances recycled a day, Green Works can make a substantial impact to the environment while making a substantial impact to the community it serves,” Wilber added.

The Freon is safely extracted from the appliances and then resold.

First shipment over over 200 refrigerators the Green Works facility.

After the refrigerators are disassembled, they are crushed and resold to other organizations for repurposing.

Growing human capital skills

To keep up with this appliance recycling program Green Works is increasing its staff by more than a dozen Detroit-area military veterans with employment challenges. So far about six veterans have been trained and are employed through this program.

As part of Green Works and Goodwill Detroit’s mission of servicing those in need, revenues from the sale of raw materials will provide the veterans with paying jobs as well as vital job training, education, and placement programs.

“Green Works consults with MiOSHA on a regular basis to assure it provides a safe working environment for its employees and trainees,” said Jay Wilber. “The new appliance recycling process proposal was reviewed in advance to assure compliance. Green Works also assists the Michigan Department of Corrections with the reintegration process for citizens returning from prison. We highly value our relationship with the State of Michigan and are a progressively-minded organization dedicated to helping Detroit.”

Generating financial results

In addition to providing jobs, education and training to veterans in need, the appliance recycling program is generating financial results to DTE Energy customers. DTE Energy customers can receive a $50 rebate for each refrigerator and freezer appliance and an additional $20 each for room air conditioner or dehumidifier, when picked-up at the same time. Furthermore, by removing inefficient units, customers can save up to $150 a year on energy bills.

For more information, visit and

Did this story inspire you?


Leave a Reply